The necessity of reducing CO2 emissions has lead to an increased number of passenger cars that utilize turbocharging to maintain performance when the internal combustion (IC) engines are downsized. Charge air coolers (CACs) are used on turbocharged engines to enhance the overall gas exchange efficiency. Cooling of charged air increases the air density and thus the volumetric efficiency and also increases the knock margin (for petrol engines). The acoustic properties of charge coolers have so far not been extensively treated in the literature. Since it is a large component with narrow flow passages, it includes major resistive as well as reactive properties. Therefore, it has the potential to largely affect the sound transmission in air intake systems and should be accurately considered in the gas exchange optimization process. In this paper, a frequency domain acoustic model of a CAC for a passenger car is presented. The cooler consists of two conical volumes connected by a matrix of narrow ducts where the cooling of the air takes place. A recently developed model for sound propagation in narrow ducts that takes into account the attenuation due to thermoviscous boundary layers and interaction with turbulence is combined with a multiport representation of the tanks to obtain an acoustic two-port representation where flow is considered. The predictions are compared with experimental data taken at room temperature and show good agreement. Sound transmission loss increasing from 5 to over 10 dB in the range 50–1600 Hz is demonstrated implying good noise control potential.

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